Section 9. Preparations for Mass Production and Mass Sales
Item 2. Automobile Exports and APA Special Demand
APA special demand
A large number of Toyota vehicles were exported to Southeast Asia as a result of special demand from the U.S. Army Procurement Agency in Japan (APA). APA special demand refers to the large-volume procurement of Japanese vehicles that began in the second half of 1956 pursuant to the Mutual Defense Assistance Pacts (MDAP) entered into by the United States and a number of Asian countries.1
The APA special demand consisted of replacement of the American-made military vehicles supplied to Japan and Southeast Asian countries with new Japanese-made vehicles. In May 1957, bidding was conducted for the supply of trucks to the Defense Agency, but Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. could not obtain the order. From 1958 to 1962, however, orders for a total of 51,273 3/4-ton four-wheel drive trucks (Model FQ15L and Model 2FQ15L) and 2.5-ton six-wheel drive trucks (Model DW15L and Model 2DW15L) were received (not including orders for 1/4-ton four-wheel drive trucks [jeep-type]).
Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. did not participate in order activities for the APA special demand, and the Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Sales & Marketing Department was responsible. As this business expanded, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. established the Special Demand Department in August 1960 and reorganized the department into the Export Department in February 1962. The all-wheel drive vehicles that were ordered under the special demand were produced through the cooperation of multiple Toyota group companies, and this ample organization provided an advantage to receiving the order. In addition, large-volume production was achieved as a result of the special demand, raising operating efficiency and reducing costs.
The bid specifications for the 2.5-ton six-wheel drive trucks initially called for gasoline engines, but they were equipped with diesel engines at the request of the U.S. Army, and immediately after their launch in March 1957, the Model D diesel engine was improved. The engines were evaluated in accordance with the strict U.S. Army inspection standards, and Toyota gained valuable technology experience. The results were employed in the development of the Model 2D diesel engine.
A large number of vehicles were supplied to Southeast Asian countries as a result of the APA special demand, and Toyota vehicles were able to establish a solid reputation. This would later provide substantial support to exports. In addition, the rustproofing, packaging, and packing standards for shipment of service parts were based on experience the U.S. Army gained from shipping weapons and parts during wartime and were extremely rigorous. The experience of meeting these standards was later put to good use when transporting parts for knockdown exports.